On November 5, 2009, the Congress passed a bill that will extend unemployment benefits, tax credits for home buyers and will also provide relief from tax for military and business families. The bill, called the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act, will provide 14 weeks on unemployment benefits to those who are without a job who have exhausted their benefits or will do so by the end of the year. An additional six weeks of benefits will be provided to those living in those states where unemployment rates top 8.5 percent. The new law treats the 20-week extension as two separate extensions of 14 weeks and six weeks, with participants required to exhaust the first 14 weeks before applying for the next six.
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